All childcare professionals will tell you that taming the potty and going without diapers is first and foremost a matter for the baby. And it rarely “works” before the age of two. However, parents have their role to play. Although they should never force their little one, their presence and help are essential to acquiring cleanliness.
Table of Contents
- Cleanliness: a gentle acquisition
- How to help your child potty train?
- Tips to make potty training easier
- Ready for the potty: the signs that don’t deceive
Cleanliness: a gentle acquisition
For the child, becoming potty trained is, above all, in the head! There’s no point in putting him on the potty until he can control his sphincters. In fact, the psychological stage known as “anal” appears between 18 months and two years of age, the age when the brain will control the said muscles. The child experiences pleasure in urinating and defecating. Before this age, with a few rare exceptions, there is no cleanliness on the horizon. Of course, some parents, delighted to see Baby potty trained at one year old, will readily classify their toddler as a “precocious child”. But most of the time, it’s just a matter of luck: having put him on the potty at the right time, just after a meal, for example.
Nevertheless, do not repeat the maneuver every day under the pretext of occasional success. When it comes to peeing, your child should not be allowed to function automatically. If you try to run too hard, you risk slowing down your child’s potty training.
How to help your child potty train?
Your child has been wearing diapers for two years. So he can’t accept that he has to go to the potty overnight. There’s only one thing to do: explain it calmly but clearly. Tell your toddler that the potty is like the grown-ups’ toilet, that you pour your “poo” into the family’s toilet. Don’t be afraid to be natural: it’s the best way to speak the truth.
Excessive joy, cleanliness diplomas or rewards for peeing in the potty should also be avoided. Here again, play the natural card. Going to the potty means growing up, and no one has ever given a medal for that. Finally, make a point of honors of modesty. Even at a young age, your child has the right to a bit of privacy and respect. Peeing sessions should be avoided in front of friends, family or neighbors, with a photo to support the souvenir album. Gradually, your child will be very proud to imitate the grown-ups. You might as well put your potty in the toilet, or at least in the bathroom. And push the door open a little so that he stays quiet. The more harmonious the relationship with parents, the more the child will want to grow up and be clean to please them. On average, children become potty trained around 28-30 months. But it still takes some time to acquire night-time cleanliness. The reflex to get up to go to the toilet does not exist before 3 or 4 years old: this is the average age for acquiring night-time cleanliness.
Tips to make potty training easier
For your child’s comfort, choose a stable potty, adapted to his or her body size, with a spray guard for little boys. Beware of “all options” models, which are fun but too big and too heavy for the baby to be able to pour the contents into the grown-up’s toilet himself, which also helps him to grow up. You can also try the seat reducer. This is a small seat, adapted to the child’s size, to be attached to the toilet seat.
Cover the bed with two fitted sheets to avoid small accidents at night, separated by a waterproof under sheet. In case of leaks, remove the wet sheet; there is a dry one underneath. Practical for putting your child back to sleep in no time! If your toddler stains his clothes, pour some carbonated water immediately and leave it on for half an hour. The carbon dioxide (the bubbles!) dissolves the stain almost every time.
The Brazelton method
The famous American pediatrician advises choosing a quiet moment first: you put your child on the potty and sit next to him, on the toilet, to show him that it is natural. Then read him a story, but don’t force him to sit still. Keep this “training” going for a good week, explaining that he’ll soon be old enough to go independently.
Ready for the potty: the signs that don’t deceive
Children, who speak early, feeling the urge, express it: “Mommy, pee! There is no clearer message! Your little one’s facial expressions can also help you. When the time comes, you’ll know how to decode your toddler’s grimaces when he feels the urge coming on. Some children look concentrated; others pretend to push. Not to mention the classic attitudes and postures: agitation when peeing comes, immobility and a back that arches at poo time. So many signs that do not deceive.
Explain to your child that the potty is similar to an adult’s toilet. It is best to avoid peeing in front of loved ones, relatives, or neighbors. Make it a point of honor to respect his right to solitude by playing the natural card.